Ways to enjoy 215-miles of backcountry trails

We all find entertainment in different things.

This is for those who would prefer to be on a mountain, by a river, in natural areas and open spaces, or just somewhere out in the sticks. I find an immense amount of enjoyment in the natural areas and open spaces within King County and fortunately for us there are a lot of different options throughout King County Parks.

Hiking can be one of the cheapest and easiest things to do on King County Parks’ 215-miles of backcountry trails, not to say it doesn’t have the potential of being very strenuous. That’s part of the beauty of it though. Hiking is something suitable for all ages and skill levels. From a gentle walk or a 1,400-ft elevation climb, King County’s backcountry trails offer a variety of hikes that will fit almost every range.dockton_sunset_trail

Hiking is always rewarding; enjoy the beauty of the great northwest at every turn. Go alone for some self-reflection and take in all the wonders nature offers us, or go with friends and family to share the experience while making life lasting memories all while getting exercise and bettering ones health.

Take hiking up a notch and go for a backcountry trail run. If it’s your 1st run on the trails, your legs will let you know the next day just how much more toned they could be. If you continue to run on the trails, you’ll be a trail running guru in no time. You may be surprised at how fast you adapt and look back to your 1st run and laugh at how hard it seemed at the time.

If hiking or trail running to enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature doesn’t sound appealing, why not try geocaching? This activity is one where you have a goal to find the hidden container somewhere along a trail, mountain, open space, or near a river. One can find instructions and other information on geocaching at http://www.wsgaonline.org/forums/.

Mountain bike riding is one of the best things to do in my opinion. Pull that bike out of storage, pump up the tires, check your brakes, and throw on a helmet – then hit up one of the dozens of spots to ride.duthie_jumping_bike

If you’re not sure where to start, hit up Duthie Hill Park. This is one of the premier riding spots in King County Parks. The whole park is dedicated to bike riding. No, not all of us are able or willing to hit a 30-ft or even a 10-ft jump but it’s always fun to watch others and there are plenty of riding trails fit for all skill levels as well. Duthie Hill Park is a popular destination, so if you want seclusion in your ride you might want to venture elsewhere. Visit the County’s Park Finder Map and search for backcountry trails on the lookup tool to find other places to mountain bike ride within King County Parks.

For those who own a horse or know a friend with one are fortunate to enjoy riding the trails all year round. Horses have the ability to travel through rougher terrain, thus allowing them to travel further during the “yuck” season. There are many backcountry trails available for horseback riding. So, don’t forget to check out our Backcountry Trail Map Series on the County’s Virtual Map Counter for a list of our parks that offer maps of backcountry trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding!

However you like to recreate in the great northwest, King County Parks has something to offer all.

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